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Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

A thought on Publishing

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As I was standing in Barnes and Noble the other day I looked down and saw this display sign. NewsStand used to be something that was celebrated. Where people exchanged greetings, shared thoughts and picked up their favorite reading material. Wow, how it has changed and nothing has changed. We love to read and see and consume. Just the way we get it is changing. Of course it’s advancing how, what and how fast we can see and instantly comment or form opinion or worse yet judgement on.

What once was the neighborhood of a few is now the land of the many. Photo by Mike Hartley

What once was the neighborhood of a few is now the land of the many.
Photo by Mike Hartley

You know I’m not sure if it’s the technology that gets the award for changing the face of publishing. I think it’s the experience every individual had when they realized they could be their own little publishing firm and how much fun it was. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WordPress/Tumblr or any one of a number of versions of those category leaders. Or even your own website. It gets in your blood. I remember when people would come to our local newspaper offices for tours. I found it exciting to see people so impressed with the technology or the big steel in the press-room or in how the gallies of type came out of the processors. You could take them to the make up area and see them wanting to pick up the pieces (ads, copy, pictures, rules, borders) to see if they could do one of those puzzles.

There were letters to the Editors. (Letters “not email”) were sent in with praise or threats, people drove to the office to pick up reprints of photos or plates of the page their story was on. Sometimes the whole family would come or the whole team and coach to pick them up. It must be like today when you get followers and comments/likes on a post. The difference is in this world the connections are mostly electronic. Those face to face meetings can happen through local events for the online community or bloggers/photogs and writers but nothing like the old days.

Everyone has a camera now. Back in the day if you saw a guy walk on the field with one lens a foot long another camera over the shoulder and a tripod you knew your local community photo was at the game. Now news organizations are stripped so thin they can’t send a photog to the games like they used to. Hell most don’t even employee Photographers in any large capacity anymore.

The tools that had been the province of News organizations like professional photographers with costly cameras, reporters using terminals tied to a front end system that cost a fortune, video and sound equipment only a network supported TV news operation had were now in all our hands with very good quality for a fraction of the cost. All of a sudden each of us could do the same thing large organizations had been doing for decades pretty much without competition. Because instead of sending a physical product we send bits of information. Of course none of us online wanna be publishers are capable of printing a million papers tomorrow when the Internet goes down.

And think of how few blogs and other publishing tools are free of FACT CHECKING or for that matter Spell Checking. Publishing is built on trust. Its built on honesty. It’s build on a foundation of many people usually working for a common goal. It’s a business when people pull together in a crisis. I was at the Washington Post on 9/11 and while everyone else was leaving town in an unseen before evacuation. People stayed at work to get the infrastructure geared up or were rushing in and out to get the news for others to consume.

So I try to emulate that kind of spirit and the basic is being here each day. Doing more each day. Making this a better read and visually pleasing each day. For I’m in it for the long haul till these nimble little fingers no longer work or I can’t find a speech to type translator that is effective or I can’t upload a photo or video any longer.

Random Thoughts for Monday August 24th 2015

  • You can’t here the crickets unless you open your windows. That is, unless one got in your house.
  • Only a hammock can bring my back rest. Now how to fit one in the bedroom. Well maybe I can put it up in the corner of the basement.
  • You can’t underestimate the strength you can get from friends.
  • I’m still giddy that the University of Maryland basketball team preseason ranking is as high as #1. I must get some tickets for a few games this year.
  • Congrats to my daughter and future daughter in-law on the first week of school starting. If you know these two, your children would be very lucky to have them as teachers.
  • I’m tired, but I have so much to do.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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